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"Tiny Dancer" is a 1971 song by Elton John with lyrics by Bernie Taupin. It appears on John's fourth album, Madman Across the Water, and was released as a single in 1972. In the U.S. it was certified Gold on 19 May 2005, and Platinum on 19 August 2011 by the RIAA.
Background and writing 
The song was written by Taupin to capture the spirit of California in 1970 encapsulated by the many beautiful women he met. A common misconception concerning this song is that it was written for Maxine Feibelman, Bernie Taupin's first wife. Rather, the song was simply dedicated to her on the album Madman Across the Water.
The song features a piano-based melody during verses and an arrangement that at the start features pedal steel guitar and light percussion but, transitioning subtly halfway through one of the choruses, by the end is driven by Paul Buckmaster's dynamic strings, along with a barely heard backing choir. Clocking at 6:12 on the full-length album version, it was edited down considerably for radio play to 3:38.
"Tiny Dancer" was initially a non-starter as a single in the US, reaching only #41 on the U.S. pop chart, and was not even released as a single in the UK. The song fared better in Canada, where John had much of his early commercial breakthrough success, peaking at #19. It was also a hit in Australia, peaking at #13. Eventually, the song slowly became one of John's most popular songs even in the territories that initially failed to embrace it, and the full-length version is now a fixture on North American, UK and Australian adult contemporary and rock radio stations.
It was ranked No. 397 on the 2011 List of Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
Other versions 
- "Tiny Dancer" has been covered by Lani Hall in the 1970s, by the Red Hot Chili Peppers with John Frusciante on vocals since the early 1990s, by Dave Grohl on The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn.
- In 2002, Ben Folds covered "Tiny Dancer" for his live album, Ben Folds Live. The song was later released as a promo single.
- Country music artist Tim McGraw covered the song on his 2002 album Tim McGraw and the Dancehall Doctors. McGraw also performed the song, with Elton John, at the American Music Awards.
- In 2008, a version was released by Italian DJ Marco DeMark and singer Casey Barnes. It was later remixed by Deadmau5.
- In 2009, DJ Ironik and Chipmunk created a remix of the song, featuring John singing the chorus, which peaked at No.3 in the UK Singles Chart.
- Corey Taylor played this song at his Sonisphere Festival Knebworth solo performance as the opening number.
- A sample of the "Tiny Dancer" chorus is featured in a mash-up by Girl Talk called "Smash Your Head" (from the 2006 album Night Ripper).
- A version featuring Mary Black, Paddy Casey and Declan O'Rourke was recorded in Galway, Ireland in 2012 as a charity single.
- A country version of this song was created by Disk Eyes Productions for a 'Gone Country' series featuring the songs of Elton John in 2005.
- On 8 April 2013, Caroline Glaser performed "Tiny Dancer" before a live audience and celebrity judges in her National TV debut on the hit show "The Voice."
In popular culture 
- In the song S.O.S. (Rescue Me), Rihanna sings "Just hold me close boy 'cause I'm your tiny dancer."
- A reference to this song was made in sitcoms Friends and Will and Grace. In both shows, the same joke was used where a character (Phoebe in the former, Grace in the latter) confuses the lyrics as "Hold me closer Tony Danza".
- The song was featured in "The Americanization of Ivan" episode of WKRP in Cincinnati. References to the song were made throughout the show, and was featured during the closing credits.
- The cast of Almost Famous (2000) sings along to the song while riding in the tour bus. It is also featured as instrumental incidental music in a phonic reference to Penny Lane.
- The song was featured in a Budweiser TV commercial starring Peter Stormare and Andrew Sensenig that premiered during Fox Broadcasting's telecast of Super Bowl XLV on 6 February 2011.
- The song was sung by rock star character Atticus Fetch during a plane crash scene in the 6th season of the TV show Californication
- ^ Dan, "Under Cover: Tiny Dancer - As Heard On", 20 April 2012, "", 24 July 2012
- ^ Lyrics
- ^ "Tiny Dancer by Elton John", 24 July 2012.
- ^ "500 Greatest Songs of All Time". 4 July 2011. Archived from the original on 7 April 2011. Retrieved 7 February 2013.
- ^ "Lani Hall's Tiny Dancer cover of Elton John's Tiny Dancer", "", 24 July 2012
- ^ "Red Hot Cilli Peppers - Tiny Dancer", 11 April 2008, "", 24 July 2012
- ^ "Dave Grohl - Tiny Dancer", "", 24 July 2012
- ^ "Elton heads galaxy of stars backing Lily-Mae's cancer fight", "http://www.independent.ie/national-news/video-elton-heads-galaxy-of-stars-backing-lilymaes-cancer-fight-3303420.html", November, 2012
- ^ "Tiny Dancer - A Song for Lily-Mae", "http://www.eltonjohn.com/news/news_details.aspx?postid=58721679-ac79-4af6-96c7-b1c65ba5a42b", November, 2012
- ^ "Budweiser Elton John Tiny Dancer Peter Stormare Super Bowl XLV Commercial Ad 2011", 6 February 2011, "", 24 July 2012
External links